What: Community conversation on housing crisis in Fredericksburg and the surrounding region
When: Saturday, October 7 from 1-3 p.m.
Where: Central Rappahannock Regional Library Theater Room, 1201 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Fredericksburg Va. — The Fredericksburg Chapter of Virginia Organizing will hold a community forum on affordable housing at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library to hear from residents, experts, and nonprofit leaders about the housing crisis in Fredericksburg. By bringing together different stakeholders concerned with this issue, the chapter hopes to develop a better understanding of the need for and obstacles to affordable housing.
“As a craftsman who makes my living supporting musicians, I have watched their pay decrease as the cost of housing skyrockets,” said Thom Schiff, a Fredericksburg resident and Virginia Organizing leader. “I have watched working class people being forced out of my neighborhood because of increasing rents and real estate taxes with no local low income alternative. I am concerned for the future of my town and its citizens.”
The minimum wage in Virginia is $7.25. The rent affordable at this wage in Fredericksburg, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, is $377 per month. The average two bedroom apartment at fair market rent in Fredericksburg goes for $1,746. A worker would need to make $33.58 per hour to afford such a unit.
In addition, the proposed federal budget would cut over $7 billion in Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding. If these cuts take place, HUD-sponsored housing will slowly disappear and that loss will worsen our local crisis.
Rev. Doug McCusker agrees that something must be done.
“As a pastor of a local church in a working-class neighborhood, I see what happens when people get priced out of their apartments and homes. It is devastating to them and the community. We are at a critical juncture in the economic story of Fredericksburg. I believe it is imperative that City Council work with community groups, developers, employers, and houses of worship toward creative solutions that retain affordable housing while enabling responsible, balanced economic growth.”
Panel Participants will include Beth Klein from PAH, Inc., Mike Taggert from the Fall Hill Civic Association, Sarah Walsh from Rappahannock United Way, Fronce Wardlaw from Project FAITH, and Daniel Turczan from Legal Aid Works.
To interview a spokesperson for this forum, please contact Rabib Hasan at 571-529-0272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.